OPERA Australia has announced this morning that controversial Georgian soprano Tamar Iveri will no longer be performing in their upcoming production of Otello.

Following a torrent of criticism from the LGBTI and wider community over a homophobic statement published to her Facebook page, Opera Australia released a statement this morning saying that the company had released Iveri from her contract.

“Opera Australia has reached agreement with Ms Iveri to immediately release her from her contract with the company,” Opera Australia said via their Facebook page.

“Ms Iveri and her husband have both made public statements in the last 48 hours with regards to comments attributed to Ms Iveri.

“Ms Iveri has unreservedly apologised for those comments and views. Opera Australia believes the views as stated to be unconscionable.”

Iveri has been plagued by controversy following allegations she authored a homophobic letter posted on her Facebook page in which IDAHOT supporters in the Georgian capital city of Tblisi were branded “fecal masses”.

The decision to cancel Iveri’s contract comes after a dramatic weekend for Opera Australia, where it faced severe backlash following its decision to accept an initial apology offered by the soprano and carry on with rehersals.

The singer had initially apologised for the comments last week, blaming her husband for posting his own anti-gay views via her social media.

Opera Australia today defended its initial decision to accept the apology.

It has been important that the company take some time to understand fully what has been said, and to exercise due diligence. If we didn’t, we too would be acting in a discriminatory way and we value fairness for all,” the company said in a statement.

“We have all felt this to be emotional and disturbing and have sought to bring this situation to a resolution as fairly and quickly as possible.”

Opera Australia’s detractors took to contacting key sponsors of the company over the weekend, requesting that they pull their funding in light of the drama engulfing the organisation.

Key sponsor Mazda Australia welcomed Opera Australia’s decision, stating that the organisation rejected Iveri’s “hateful comments”.

“Over the weekend Mazda Australia became aware of the hateful comments made by Tamar Iveri towards the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities,” Mazda said via social media.

“Mazda has been a supporter of the arts and of Opera Australia for many years, and we, like Opera Australia, embrace all members of the community.

“Over the last 48 hours we communicated strongly to Opera Australia of our concerns and position on this matter. Ms Iveri is no longer performing with Opera Australia and Mazda is satisfied to see that due process has been followed and that the outcome allows all of us to move on positively.”

 

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